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Is the value of QT dispersion a valid method to foresee the risk of sudden death? A study in Becker patients
  1. Ge Nigro1,2,
  2. G Nigro1,2,
  3. L Politano2,
  4. L Santangelo1,
  5. V R Petretta2,
  6. L Passamano2,
  7. F Panico1,
  8. F De Luca2,
  9. A Montefusco1,
  10. L I Comi2
  1. 1Electrophysiologic Service of Cardiological Department, Second Naples University, Naples, Italy
  2. 2Cardiomyologic and Genetic Section, Department of Internal and Experimental Medicine, Second Naples University, Naples, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Lucia I Comi, Vaile dei Pini 101, 80131 Naples, Italy;

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Sudden cardiac death is a dramatic, undesirable event that can often result from cardiomyopathies. To investigate the validity of the QTdispersion (QTd) in revealing regional heterogeneity of repolarisation, with consequent possibility of sudden death,1 we evaluated ECGs of patients affected by Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD). This is an X linked recessive muscular dystrophy caused by dystrophin anomalies in striated muscles with myocardial involvement2–4 and consequent dilated cardiomyopathy, ventricular arrhythmias and, in 30% of cases, sudden cardiac death.5,6


The study was retrospective using the clinically validated database of ECGs and echocardiograms (echo recorded together with the ECG) from 30 BMD patients (mean (SD) age 25 (10) years) with variable stages of myocardial involvement, and 26 healthy, age matched controls. All subjects underwent a physical examination, blood analyses, and M mode and two dimensional echocardiography. The diagnosis of the type of muscular dystrophy in Becker patients was confirmed by DNA analysis (polymerase chain reaction) and by reduced dystrophin labelling from the immunohistochemical examination of biopsy samples.

We excluded the ECGs from subjects with ST-T anomalies on the 12 lead ECG, and with sustained ventricular arrhythmias at 24 hour Holter monitoring, electrolyte …

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